A quick update on recent posts:

First off, the responses to my GOP insider’s email (GOP Sours on Romney) surprised me. I assumed — wrongly apparently –  that after 23,877 posts I would get the benefit of the doubt when I source an item. Regardless, the post was validated the next morning by Politico, whose discussion of infighting, leaking, and disdain for Romney in an article Inside the campaign: How Mitt Romney stumbled, was the talk of DC. (We haven’t even seen the fall out of the leaked video, shown here).

This campaign just got a lot more interesting.

Last, a few questions came up on the polling data. I have found most of the polling data across the board to be mediocre, so I instead rely on 2 different sets of polls: 1) Real Clear Politics All Polls; and 2) Nate Silver’s 538. RCP is a composite of ALL the polls, and so theoretically shows all denominations; 538 was the most accurate pollster the past few elections.


RCP All Polls


538 Electoral College Map


Discuss . . .



GOP Sours on Romney

Presidential Futures Make a Big Move: Discuss

Kudlow Comes Out for Obama

Category: Data Analysis, Politics

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

44 Responses to “Political Polls, Data Analysis and Outliers: Discuss”

  1. Those of you who insist Rasmussen is the only poll you look at need to go look up the word “outlier.”

  2. raholco says:

    http://www.electoral-vote.com has Obama 332, Romney 206.

  3. verneer says:

    As much fun as national polls like this are, aren’t they missing the point? It’s all about VA, OH, FL, and WI. In fact, I don’t know if there is a model out there where Romney can’t with without Ohio.

  4. gman says:

    The GOP soured on Romney sometime between 2005-08. Romney was pro choice, proud of O-R0mneycare, and at least his father was part of the long dead non-interventionist wing of the party.

  5. yenwoda says:

    Princeton Election Consortium is another good one, similar to 538 in approach and conclusions.


  6. DrSandman says:

    So when the Ohio poll has a D+12 advantage to get the entrenched entitled incumbent up by 6 when 2010 only had a D+3 advantage, I should believe all the biased polls and dismiss the one that tries to correct for sampling errors? Talk about confirmation bias!


    BR: Manufacturing & Auto-related production is one of the biggest employers in Ohio (See http://ohiolmi.com/ces/LMR.pdf) What does that mean when the challenger writes an OpEd that says we should let GM go bust?

  7. DrSandman says:

    Oh wait… this is David Corn of Valerie Plame fame? And you trust this as a valid source? Ah ha ha ha.


    BR: The byline is irrelevant; watch the videos.

    (Unless you think he got George Lucas and ILM to fabricate the video using CGI)

  8. econimonium says:

    When Fox publishes Obama up 5….that’s all I’m sayin’ And yes, 538 is pretty amazing in its depth and probably on the money.

  9. Oral Hazard says:

    According to Romney, 47% of Americans are entitled freeloaders who see themselves as victims and don’t pay taxes. We can be reasonably sure he wasn’t drunk when he said it.

    But more than an innumerate idiot, Romney is something far worse: a defeatist politician. Only a defeatist says he can’t make inroads into that 47%. Bill Clinton would go out and hug a million independent voters and undecideds if he could. Reagan in a million years wouldn’t have done that.

    There are winners and losers. This guy is a loser. There is the smell of political death about him. The GOP Powers That Be have been less than subtle about communicating their displeasure with his candidacy for months.

  10. catman says:

    Mitt is melba toast. Some of my republican friends hate Obama, but none of them love Romney.

  11. whskyjack says:

    I haven’t followed any of the polls this year, I was going to get more involved after the convention but then Romney chose “Throw grandma out on the ice floe” Ryan and in doing so lost Florida. Without Florida he can’t win the election. so never mind, It is back to watching the Chiefs lose on Sunday.

    But my experience of 2008 eight makes me trust 538, they are good. Back then I did notice one problem they tend not to pick up on trends until they are well underway. This was especially bad on the State numbers where polls could be few and far between.

    But if you want to prove a trend you need more than one outlier as even the best polling organisation can have an outlier.


  12. DrSandman says:

    OK. All partisan wrangling aside, here is the view from a scientist: N statistical samples, using correlated and biased data unrepresentative of the underlying dynamics, agree on a mean and uncertainty.

    This is a recurring theme in modern history:

    Several different polls, using a weighting of Democrat-Socialsts/Independent-MushBrains/Repub-Cronies that does not reflect an unbiased sample, give the wrong result.

    Several different correlated temperature records, all using biased thermometers affected by UHI show a warming trend.

    Several different accounting firms, all auditing cooked books, declare that Enron/Lehman/Solyndra/et al. are all financially healthy and would make great investments.

  13. InterestedObserver says:

    I tend to follow 538…, even when it makes me sad since it seems about as objective a source as possible.

    It’s close, but the pool of undecideds appears quite small. That spells real problems for Romney. He’s fishing in a shrinking pool of persuadable votes at this point in time, and he’s not good at fishing.

    Not that I’m bothered. I voted for Obama in 2008 and I personally believe he’s done a credible job overall given the situation. Sure, there’s plenty I wish he’d done differently, there always is, but those items are on both sides of my ideological ledger.

  14. hue says:

    Mittsy Bainer versus the 47% http://wapo.st/U6sYNh

  15. R. Timm says:

    These are all still telephone polls. I read somewhere recently that the majority of Americans under age 35 do not have a traditional landline. In the ’08 election folks under 35 went strongly for Obama. Is there a growing bias in all polling under-representing this segment of the population?

  16. James Cameron says:

    > This campaign just got a lot more interesting. Discuss . . .

    It’s supremely ironic that someone who claims to be All World Mr. Fix It has a campaign which is lurching from one pot hole to the next.

    Aside from Romney’s characterizations or claims in the video, which are grossly inaccurate on several fronts (indeed, a large number of the 47% include individuals who will certainly vote for him) – and he has to know it even if many of his supporters don’t – it reveals how cynical and opaque this candidate is.

    It’s utterly amazing that a party can produce such a poor candidate.

  17. NoKidding says:

    Romney is dead, which surprises me because he was less dangerous to wall street. Obama in term 2 may try to be the person he claimed to be in his first campaign – for legacy purposes. Is he another empty suit, or an actual anti-American liberal jackazz? I obviously do not like him, but I’d rather see the later than the former. It’s what the winning voters asked for, and were promised, but have not received. Also it would be nice to see the troops come home.

  18. Chief Tomahawk says:

    Mitt needs Hermain Cain to stump for him.

  19. Frilton Miedman says:

    This has to be one the most hilarious campaign follies in U.S. history, Obama just has to sit back and watch Romney self destruct via his constant”Etch-a-Sketch” moments, one after another after another.

    As for the voter ID and “redistricting” BS, looks like Penn and other swings state are a pissed off bee hives , it’s nuts how dramatic and rapid Penn just swung in the polls.

    Apparently Romney missed the GOP memo that badmouthing the majority of the voting populace is a dumb idea close to election.

    In 2010, after the GOP sweep, a lot of sabre rattling about “Socialism” and “entitlement” worked because they had years for the general public to forget.

    In the video, Romney not only seals the deal for himself, but he’s now a liability for tight races all across the country.

    Furthermore, Ryan is now screwed, having laid out most of his resources campaigning with Romney, his Congressional campaign is in choppy water.

    He’ll make a great executive at Koch Industries, no doubt, his political career might be over.

    As for Romney, the Dems would be smart to open a super-PAC for him to run every 4 years, this has been a gift that keeps giving for the left.

  20. hue says:

    the born supremacy, what if Repub pols weren’t from wealthy families http://bit.ly/S4zYYY

  21. Anonne says:

    538 for the win. It’s the most detailed analysis out there. It kills me how many wingnuts comment there about how left leaning it is, when the reasoning is always staring them plainly in the face.

  22. romerjt says:

    I have never gotten over the fact that Romney could trash his greatest achievement, healthcare in MA, what kind of person does that . . . ? . . .it’s clearer now.

  23. diogeron says:

    Nate Silver vs Rasmussen? As my good old boy Alabama realtor buddy In the FL Panhandle used to say, “Son, that’s the difference between chicken salad and chicken s**t.” Indeed.

    Anyone who thinks Nate’s biased, needs to look @ 2010 when he correctly predicted the “shellacking” (as Obama called it) that the Ds got in that election. Of course, it you just want “data” (loosely defined) that are constructed to reinforce what you WANT to believe, there’s always Rush, Faux News on the right and night time MSNBC on the left.

  24. scottinnj says:

    Nate Silver tweeted that he will will be publishing an update to the Senate forecast that will be newsy and that polling trends are sending a clear signal. Mitt may be toast but I think that what Mr Silver will show is that Republicans are not likely to capture the Senate. The real fallout of the video may be less the impact on Mitt but that it will divert money to where the real battle is which is the Senate.

    Also, too someone referred to the Princeton group which also has a very good record and they show a 61% chance that the Dem will take the House. I had always assumed that Mitt was unlikely to underperdorm McCain and in that scenario it would not be a wave election so Rep control of at least the House was expected. But if Romney contnues as is I’m less sure that he he will poll similar to McCain. I’M sill skeptical but getting Speaker Pelosi back in Jan could be the black swan of this election.

  25. Julia Chestnut says:

    538 is my go to, BR – I agree with you, their handicapping has proven itself over the past several elections. I also really appreciate their in-depth discussion of the polling data, data errors, who makes up data, etc. etc. In a world of lies, damn lies, and statistics, I value someone with a really strong backing in statistics explaining in understandable terms why and how some purveyors of numbers are not to be trusted.

    I am kind of shocked that anyone would question your sources at this point. I wish people would take that kind of skepticism to other places in their lives and use it. Perhaps I’m jaded, but both parties are fractured into camps with little in common at this point – the pragmatic wing of the Republican party is appalled by how the campaign is being run, and it doesn’t take a lot of inside knowledge or imagination to see that. The GOP is ceding social liberal, fiscal conservatives to the Dems: from a traditionalist standpoint, that is insane – but also probably loses the election.

  26. BITFU Search Engine says:

    I was one of those who “questioned” the source by saying, “I bet it came from Invictus.” [For those unfamiliar, Invictus is a regular contributor to TBP who leans to the Left (not that there's anything wrong with that). ]

    I just went back and saw your response to by comment. Honestly, Barry, that was just a joke…and I wasn’t questioning your integrity. My apologies. I was just playing on the farcical notion that Invictus was a high-ranking GOP official.

  27. gms777 says:

    One can go to a blog on the other side and almost substitute the word “Obama” for “Romney” or substitute “Libya/Egypt embassy” for “47% video” and conclude the other side is toast due to some gaffe, real or imagined. The polarization is complete.

    The campaign is all about getting a tiny sliver of undecideds in 4-5 key states.

  28. AHodge says:

    re surprised?
    nobody screams if you just look wrong or biased. Its the highly satisfying screams of the nailed.
    bookie odds confirm
    the obama/ romney win odds daily chart has gone parabolic- close to 3/1 for obama now
    their aint no island tops for this trade.
    it will probably be studied for all time as an epic loss–defeat from the jaws of victory
    bad economy giving the Rs odds to win going in

  29. VennData says:

    How do we know Romney’s not one of the 47% of Americans’ who are moochers, who don’t pay taxes? He hasn’t released HIS tax returns!

  30. Bob A says:

    Who needs a Sarah Palin when you can do it all yourself?

  31. dougc says:

    Might be relevant if the election was tomorrow but a week is a lifetime in a political campaign.

  32. techy says:

    More truthful than that is:

    Most people in deep south will always vote for republicans because for them religion and hatred for black people is the most important thing in their life.

    I cant imagine any same democrat saying that, particularly the religion part, because like it or not around 75% of people are christians, minus the black population that will be still > 50% of religious white people.

  33. rj chicago says:

    Ya know – the sad thing about all the ‘progressives’ who post on this site is the fact that the myopia is so apparent. Mark my words – you may be gnawing on the raw meat of Romney possibly losing this election but in four years the dogs will be returning to their own vomit (Book of Proverbs in case you want to know).

    I have been witness to the Obama fraud for near 20 years here in ILL_ANNOY and all I gotta say is the Glory has departed this cess pool of American Politik – and it will soon depart the United States. The attacks on the Repubs are repugnant and frankly the bias of the MSM and you all on Wall St. just sickens little ol me. And yep I am little ‘ol me cause I thought for a long time I was too sexy for my own good – then crash!!! Better wake up!!!

  34. TG Randini says:

    Republicans have four main constituencies:

    1. The 1%er’s
    2. Idiots
    3. Imbeciles
    4. Morons

  35. kbwoody says:

    The Romney 47% video will be as damaging to this election as the Obama video “of the working class clinging to their guns and religion” was to the past election. The only people that claim offense to these comments are people who are already entrenched in the right of left bunker.

    Oh yeah, and the media loves to amplify these things because it helps make one side hate the other side. and then the offended side watches more news so they can see more coverage of how bad the other side is and how much better their own side is. and then the offended side talks about it at work and forwards emails of examples of how mean the other side is. and then these people go to “news” websites and watch the bomb throwing “cable news” commentators reconfirm that the other side is bad, bad ,bad! and then the news media sits back and giggles and laughs at all the new website hits and cable viewership and tells Proctor & Gamble, Coke, Budweiser and the campaigns that a new 30 second spot is going to cost twice as much as before. and at the same time, Rome is burning…but it’s not my fault! It’s not my side’s fault! It’s the other guys!

    Aaaahhh…The Circle of Life

  36. AHodge says:

    history repeats
    spoiled overindulged republican prince offspring of competent leading R elder
    shoo in governor with a scripted public image,hiding fairly horrifying illogical belief system, ,second rate mind and given to malaprops, and perhaps thinking he is a child of destiny and the almighty.
    folks just did not catch on soon enough with W
    and then voted fr the 9/11 president
    the debates will be fun, the Rs better make sure there is no actual exchange and debate. just run it like they were in different rooms and planets. no banter.

  37. Livermore Shimervore says:

    Monday (in front of common folk):

    Mitt Romney “My concern is not the poor. We have a social safety net to take care of them”.

    Friday (in front of wealthy right wing donors):

    Mitt Romney “47% of this country pay no taxes and live off the govt”.

    I can hardly think of a person more willing to pander to any audience. He is indeed a well lubricated weather vane.


    The GOP should be in panic mode. Not because Romney is the worst politician ever to be nominated. But that even with as moderate as a candidate as Romney, as moderate as the GOP will allow, they still can’t get the electoral college to work for them. The difficulties in swing states, largely due to Democrats out-registering Republicans by wide margins in must-win states like FL and Ohio, are only only getting worse for Republicans. I can only imagine how much worse they’ll lose if they nominate a really right wing type like Ryan or Santorum who can’t even get the nomination in their own party let alone win over the moderate majority. I think this may end up being the best shot Republicans ever have at winning. If they let another big state like Florida go into the blue column they’re toast in 2016 and 2020.

  38. Frilton Miedman says:

    VennData Says:
    September 18th, 2012 at 9:57 am
    “How do we know Romney’s not one of the 47% of Americans’ who are moochers, who don’t pay taxes? He hasn’t released HIS tax returns!”


    Best explanation I’ve heard to date, he was one of those who took part in the IRS amnesty program for taxz evasion in Swiss banks accounts, it perfectly explains why he stopped at the 2010 return.

    *** *** *** ***
    Livermore Shimervore Says:
    September 18th, 2012 at 2:08 pm
    Monday (in front of common folk):


    The GOP should be in panic mode. Not because Romney is the worst politician ever to be nominated. But that even with as moderate as a candidate as Romney, as moderate as the GOP will allow, they still can’t get the electoral college to work for them. The difficulties in swing states, largely due to Democrats out-registering Republicans by wide margins in must-win states like FL and Ohio, are only only getting worse for Republicans.”


    It’s worse than that for the Neocons, all they had to do was attempt these voter restriction strategies, and redistricting, to get public attention in an incredibly negative light, which has triggered a storm on social networks, blogs and the media, a literal “Democratic spring”.

    Ironically, the GOP has always used fear to gin-up it’s own base, the very same fear has now worked against them.

  39. TennesseeCPA says:

    Please re-run this post with these comments after the election. Such pontification, such expert insight on such an unknowable subject as what will happen over the next sixty days. If Rasmussen is as right in 2012 as he was in 2008, he should raise his rates.

  40. Irwin Fletcher says:

    The political posts really bring out the collectivists and the Obama fans for sure, including the blog host.
    It’s okay to be pro-democrat, I just wish you would be honest about it rather than pretending to be independent.
    Regardless, here is my point.
    All you Obama fans, pay attention to what’s going on in the Middle East and around the world. It’s a disaster. Our Ambassador was murdered for goodness sakes! Maybe people don’t care about foreign policy, but we are hated around the world and Obama’s appeasement approach only makes it worse. And blaming a You Tube video is an insult to our intelligence. I watched the silly video. “Repulsive”? I think not. Regardless, there are thousands of repulsive videos on the web, but isn’t that what free speech is all about? Kudos to You Tube by the way for not bowing to a stupid request from the White House.

  41. StatArb says:

    Looks like I walked into an MSNBC- HuffPo debate !!!

    Organ grinder meets the chimp

  42. Greg0658 says:

    Frilton Miedman says “….He’ll make a great executive at Koch Industries, no doubt, his political career might be over ….”
    The Kochs repurpose’g PaulR – umm – don’t know – more like Daniel in “V the Final Battle”

    free speech – and fire from the ME – I found this interesting (true?)
    interesting take in about the 1h30m zone (memory) on a 2.# trillion find/replacement into circulation from the DoD